Cindy Sherman retrospective comes to Vancouver Art Gallery this fall

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #546 2010/12, chromogenic print. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

This fall, more than 170 works by celebrated conceptual photographer Cindy Sherman will be on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

From Oct 26  to March 8, 2020, the Vancouver Art Gallery presents (in Collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery in London) this acclaimed retrospective, including rarely-seen photos. Find out more about this exciting new show below.

The exhibition focuses on the American artist’s manipulation of her own appearance, as well as her deployment of material derived from a range of cultural sources. These include film, advertising, and fashion.

Organized by the National Portrait Gallery, it is the first retrospective of Sherman’s work to come to Canada in twenty years.

“In a community of photo conceptual artists, we are proud to have Cindy Sherman headline our fall season,” says Daina Augaitis, Interim Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery in a media release.

“Evoking the power of appearances, Sherman has for more than four decades adopted hundreds of characters in her creation of fictional portraits that both highlight and confront notions of beauty, aging, sexuality, and the gaze. Received with rave reviews at the National Portrait Gallery, this must-see retrospective is a comprehensive examination of the world-renowned artist’s practice.” One of those raves, from the Sunday Times, reads: “Only rarely do artistic retrospectives feel as useful and perfectly judged as this one.”

Cindy Sherman at the Vancouver Art Gallery showcases a selection from every major photographic series the artist has produced. These range from the early Untitled Film Stills of the 1970s through to her newest Untitled #602. Created in 2019, the series highlights Sherman’s fascination with the fashion industry. The rarely-seen photographs and films come from Sherman’s time as an art student at the State University College at Buffalo from 1972 to 1976.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #588 2016/18. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

This exhibition also features a digital version of A Cindy Book, a personal album of family photographs tracing back to the artist’s childhood. Depictions of Sherman’s studio in New York, with a selection of source materials including her notes, sketches, and other behind-the-scenes elements that have influenced her work, is another highlight.

Additionally, the presentation includes a number of Sherman works from the VAG’s permanent collection.

Born in 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Sherman conquered the art world, or at least the conceptual-photography part of it, in late seventies and into the eighties. Utilizing makeup, costumes, props, and prosthetics, she transformed herself into familiar yet fictitious personae: modern socialite, film noir heroine, clown,  collector. She is onsidered one of the most influential artists of her generation. People dug it.

A lavishly illustrated catalogue accompanies the collection. It will be available for purchase at the Vancouver Art Gallery store.

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